Few factors impact an organization’s success more than the ability to make good hiring decisions. To illustrate the point, consider Giovanni Carmazzi and Spergon Wynn.
Chances are you’ve never heard of these two gentlemen. Both were journeyman professional football quarterbacks who combined to play in just three games over three seasons before moving on to other careers. However, they are notable for having been selected in the 2000 NFL draft ahead of Tom Brady, who has gone on to win six Super Bowls and become widely regarded as the greatest pro quarterback of all time.
Poor hiring decisions are much less visible in other industries, but they are common and costly. In a recent Robert Half Technology poll, 95 percent of IT decision-makers admitted to making hiring mistakes. Whether due to personal or professional issues, bad hires have significant consequences. Accord to a 2017 CareerBuilder report, making the wrong hire leads to an average cost of $14,900 due to lost productivity, lost time and compromised quality.
The process of identifying, evaluating and recruiting capable employees isn’t getting any easier for HR professionals. Screening applicants is a notoriously time-consuming job, with multiple studies indicating that roughly three-quarters of all job applicants aren’t actually qualified for the job for which they’ve applied.
To address these issues and improve their odds of getting the right people, many organizations now use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to assist with recruitment and hiring processes. Deployed either on-premises or in the cloud, ATS software automates the analysis of resumes and applications to identify candidates that match job requirements and filtering out those who don’t. Rather than manually reviewing each resume, recruiters and hiring managers can search resumes based on keywords, job titles, hard and soft skills or other qualifications. Systems can also be configured to filter or automatically rank applicants.
Most job seekers have interacted with an ATS when they’ve submitted a resume through an online form. According to research by the online job search service Jobscan, 491 of the Fortune 500 companies (98.2 percent) utilize an ATS.
The best systems do much more than automate application reviews. Many have features for posting ads to job boards, generating automated messages to applicants, scheduling interviews and onboarding new hires. One particularly valuable feature is the ability to track where candidates found the job posting, whether on a job board, the company website, a referral or some other source. Analysis of this data can help organizations target their recruiting efforts toward sources that produce the most desirable candidates.
To get the most value from an ATS solution, you should look for these three essential capabilities:
It must integrate seamlessly with your company website and your self-service HR portal or intranet. Tight integration with the rest of the HR ecosystem creates an end-to-end solution. Once a manager submits a job opening notice, the system can generate postings to internal and external sites, capture applicant data, manage the selection process, and automate much of the onboarding process.
It should be mobile-enabled to allow hiring managers and recruiters to post jobs, evaluate applicants and complete other tasks while on the go. Mobile ATS also ensures that managers can schedule interviews or approve hiring decisions even if they are away from the office. HR directors and other executives can access dashboards and analytics to get point-in-time status reports for current openings and candidates.
It should allow customizable workflows. Your recruiters and hiring managers need to be able to customize the way they search applications, follow up with candidates, schedule interviews and more. Establishing custom workflow rules for alerts, scheduling and updates enhance automation by triggering specific processes when certain conditions are met.
Hiring decisions in professional sports are going to be subject to a great deal more public scrutiny than those in most businesses. Nevertheless, bad hires are setbacks for any organization. Through increased automation, applicant tracking systems can help improve the odds of picking a winner.
Written and composed by Lyndsay Soprano, Director of Marketing